If you had told me 6 months ago that I would not only complete all 100 battles during a GO Battle Day, but that I would be enjoying PvP, and hitting Ace rank for the first time, I’d have laughed at you. But on October 1 I found myself doing all 100 battles during the Guzma GO Battle Day, and hitting rank 18 for the first time. If anything, I was a little disappointed I had to stop playing when I hit 100 battles!
For context, these are my PvP all time totals and medals. I’ve never been someone who has battled consistently, and the only time I’ve really tried to do well before was during the Interlude Season when it was made easy to get a Pikachu Libre, because well, I wanted a Pikachu Libre.
In August 2022 I attended Pokémon Worlds along with several other GOHub writers. I’ve always admitted to not be much of a PvP kinda gal, in fact, I’ve written before about the one other time I really enjoyed it (the first Little Cup), so I was mostly going for the community, and to meet my GOHub friends IRL. I was surprised then, to find myself so drawn into the competitive battles. The casters did a brilliant job of commentating on the matches, and I got so invested!
I will freely admit that I hadn’t understood the art of PvP till Worlds, being able to predict your competitors moves, counting fast moves, knowing how many fast moves for which charge move might be used, timing switches to take charge moves, there is SO much more to PvP than I had ever thought. I got back from Worlds and I started to really pay attention to PvP, reading every article our PvP articles put out in depth, analysing the Pokémon I had to figure out which teams I could make using the Pokémon I already had, and actively making sure I checked IVs of every Pokémon in case I got good PvP IVs.
I didn’t really dive into PvP until the new season, Season 12 started. You can see my Season 11 vs current season stats above. Rather different!
The other big different for me personally, is that Season 12 brought with it the return of the ‘classic premier’ cups. These cups ban XL Pokémon, Mythicals and Legendaries, which can be a really tricky barrier for people looking into PvP, especially in Master League. Guzma GO Battle Day had only two leagues available, Master League, and Master League Premier Classic. The Master League Premier Classic league went AWOL for a while, and any chance I had at competing Mast League went AWOL with it. I’m semi-rural, so I don’t get to raid as much as I might want to, and very rarely in person, which means XL Candy for Legendaries are harder to come by. It was worked out to that to max out a Legendary to Level 50 it takes approximately 70 raids, and I’m just not prepared to do that, especially with most of my raids being remote. I was super happy to see the return of Premier Classic, and therefore feel like I might be able to compete in Master League, usually by far my least favourite league. Even during Ultra League, I exclusively battled in the Premier Classic version, getting up to rank 15.
I exclusively competed in the Premier Classic version of Master League on Guzma GO Battle Day, and I did what I consider to be really well!
I completed my maximum sets of battles for the day, and progressed from Rank 14, to Rank 18, just below Rank 19. I was gutted to have to stop before I hit Rank 19! Not having to have fully maxed out Level 50 Legendaries to compete made a world of difference. I switched up my team a few times, sticking with a 98IV Metagross for lead and an IV93 Shadow Dragonite, flitting between a IV100 Togekiss, IV100 Mamoswine, and an IV96 Excadrill. The Excadrill became the reason I managed to push up to the highest rank I’ve ever been, Ace rank! Admittedly I hit Ace rank the day after GO Battle Day, when I once again maxed out my daily battles. Bring on tomorrow so I can continue that grind!
Open Master League just isn’t viable for many trainers, and knowing I had the Premier Classic option made such a difference. I know I can’t compete with Level 50 Legendary Pokémon, I don’t have any Level 50 Legendaries, and I have very few level 50 Pokémon generally. But if I don’t have to have all that XL candy? Suddenly PvP is viable for me, and so much more enjoyable. I’ll be sad when Premier Classic goes away this week, but I will take a look at Evolution Cup! I hope we see the Premier Classics make an appearance every PvP season, they are so much more accessible than the open leagues.